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Sunday, December 29, 2013

29th December

It just had to be done!

I sent Glen a text yesterday to see if he was interested in joining me on a trip down to Portland Bill to see the Brunnich’s Guillemot that has been present for the last 5 days. It didn’t take him long to get back to me with a yes and could Fionn join us. Fionn is Glens nephew and a fellow birder and had been over here with the rest of his family for an Xmas get together in Norfolk. He was due to catch an early afternoon plane back to southern Ireland and was praying that they could reschedule the flight. The gods were with him and they were both outside Glens at 5.15am. Fionn needed to be back to catch an early evening flight. Traffic was very light, we were making such good time I slowed down to just below the speed limit. We arrived at Casteltown  car park at 7.45am. There were a few cars already present. We donned a few more layers as it was minus 2 degrees and we were not sure how long we would have to wait. We scanned this way that way and not a peep. There were other goodies to enjoy though, 4 Great N Divers, 30 Red breasted Merganser (close to and out in the bay), Black Guillemot, 3 Razorbills and 1 Common Guillemot. We then decided to move and within 5 minutes Fionn had picked it up. It had taken at least an hour but it was still here. It then performed very well moving back and forth across an area of water behind the Aqua Club. It was quite a distinctive bird, the only downside was that it was in a very shady area, so my photos are not the best. We enjoyed the bird for around 40 minutes before the draw of other birds saw us move. We then pitched up at Castle Cove Sailing Club. Here although we were looking towards the sun we had 3 Black-throated Divers, 6 Slavonian Grebes and 16 Black-necked Grebes. There had been know news of yesterdays Glossy Ibis near Radipole. Though not that rare nowadays it is a bird I need, having never put much effort into seeing one. We drove the short distance back into Weymouth then along the road the runs along the eastern side of the reserve. There in the middle of a very soggy playing field was the Glossy Ibis, showing really well in beautiful light. We were enjoying great views until a local crow decided to attack it. The birds soon landed again and while Fionn and Glen stayed by the road while I did a U-turn I parked in the recreation ground and plodded through a very water logged park. The bird was very showy and was slowly coming towards the small group (4) of birders. It was nice to see even if it wasn’t that glossy apart from the wings. It was time to head for home, I didn’t want to be responsible for Fionn missing his flight home.  










The Red-breasted Merganser were very demonstrative at times.

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